The 'It' Couple: Behavioral Targeting and Video, Part 2

  |  March 28, 2007   |  Comments

Is there a role for behavioral targeting in the midst of the online video revolution? Second of a series.

Last month, industry experts shared behavioral targeting and video experiences. All agreed on the following points:

  • Video behavioral targeting is in its infancy.

  • Lack of inventory is an issue.

  • The potential is enormous.

We continue the Q&A about the roles various partners will play in the future of video behavioral targeting and new opportunities that will become available to advertisers.

What role does your company play in the maturation and development of behavioral targeting and video?

Troy Young, CMO of VideoEgg: We're starting with the big challenge first: figuring out the right way to bring together advertisers and online video content in a way that doesn't compromise user experience. Existing notions of how to interrupt the consumer don't translate real well to the way video is consumed today. Thirty-second pre-roll in front of a one to two minute video clip discourages user consumption and creates a negative halo for the brand. The Eggnetwork's in-video ad units invite the users into the advertiser's video, creating a much better environment for the brand message. We're also making our ads relevant by leveraging data from user profiles. We'll add behavioral overlays to our targeting solution in the next 12 months.

Bill Gossman, CEO, Revenue Science: Revenue Science's targeting platform makes testing and experimentation with this ad format very, very simple. We are supporting publishers and ad networks in Europe, North America, and Japan as they experiment with and mature the use of the video ad format. Further, some very video-centric publishers like AOL have adopted our platform and are in an excellent position to make massive advances for the industry in this area.

Mark Josephson, president of Seevast: Pulse 360 was the first company to offer behavioral targeting for sponsored links, and we just launched sponsored link advertising available for online videos. Publishers understand that just like on their non-video content, branded display advertising and text sponsored links can coexist to everyone's benefit.

Joe Kyriakoza, product development VP at Jump Start Automotive Media: We view video with a great level of importance, as it becomes one of the prevailing mechanisms by which people obtain information online. We are taking steps to make pre-roll video a principal offering as part of our behavioral targeting opportunities. We currently are able to provide it on a small level, as well as in-banner video. But over the next three to six months, it will be rolling out in a much bigger way. We're in the process of working out the technical details, while also solidifying the appropriate partnerships to make this possible.

Why do you (or don't you) believe behavioral targeting and video are a good fit?

TY: Behavioral targeting makes as much sense for video as it does for banners or any other ad vehicle. How it's leveraged across the sales funnel will be different. Brand advertising moves naturally to online video. Advertisers will want to push the brand messages early in the sales cycle to drive consideration. Behavioral video targeting will support tactics like this.

BG: Video and behavioral targeting are a hand-in-glove fit. First, video creative is expensive relative to other formats. Because of this, we need to be able to quickly test performance and make changes to campaigns as necessary. Second, aggregation is a key to the expansion of this format. Our platform enables publishers and marketers to build large audiences of like-minded people, and reach them virtually anywhere on the Internet. That level of volume will help make the economics of video work for advertisers and publishers.

MJ: Behavioral targeting and video are a great fit for two reasons. First, any way advertisers can refine targeting or find more customers is a good thing. Second, marketers are beginning to embrace the explosion of user-generated content, and they recognize the value of this audience. Behavior targeting in video will help refine this audience for marketers and bring the value to the surface.

JK: We've viewed performance as the prevailing facet of BT [behavioral targeting] utilization as a targeting strategy, and with better, richer creative comes enhanced performance. Video provides a greater opportunity for the precision targeting of BT to truly realize its value. Ultimately, the performance will speak for itself.

How do behavioral targeting and video work from your perspective? Is this different from display advertising?

MJ: Behavior targeting in video works much the same way as it does in display ads but is a great way to open up lots more inventory. Behavioral information is one more data point to improve the targeting of ads so that consumers see more relevant ads, and advertisers get better results. The big issue right now around behavioral targeting in video is the same issue we've been seeing for the past two years surrounding behavioral targeting in general: lack of inventory. That said, behavioral targeting in video holds tremendous promise as inventory and usage grows.

BG: The most important aspect of effective advertising, regardless of format, is relevance to the consumer. Behavioral targeting ensures that. The big difference I see is that the economics of video requires both high relevance and large reach. Our targeting platform provides both, and we're very excited to see our partners around the world making huge progress in video.

JK: When a user demonstrates a specific automotive behavior, their cookie is pooled into our data warehouse and segmented based on the behavior. We're able to recognize that user at a later date while they are viewing video content on lifestyle sites and serve them a relevant auto ad. It essentially works the same as targeting these users via display ads; the difference is it's in a richer environment.

Meet Anna at Search Engine Strategies April 10-13 at the Hilton New York in New York City.


Anna Papadopoulos

Based in New York, Anna Papadopoulos has held several digital media positions and has worked across many sectors including automotive, financial, pharmaceutical, and CPG.

An advocate for creative media thinking and an early digital pioneer, Anna has been a part of several industry firsts, including the first fully integrated campaign and podcast for Volvo and has been a ClickZ contributor since 2005. She began her career as a media negotiator for TBS Media Management, where she bought for media clients such as CVS and RadioShack. Anna earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from St. John's University in New York.

Follow her on Twitter @annapapadopoulo and on LinkedIn.

Anna's ideas and columns represent only her own opinion and not her company's.

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